Walter and Dorothy Hammerand are truly pioneers in the tri-state organic food markets. Long before it was trendy, their farm became certified organic. Although they’ve been growing for decades, they still attend organic farming conferences and make extra effort to educate themselves about improving their products and methods.
Walter grew up north of Dubuque and Dorothy is originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin. They bought their 360-acre farm north of Lancaster in 1970 and eventually converted to fully organic dairy production. Their daughter and son-in-law now work the farm, and Walter and Dorothy have a large garden in Fennimore where they grow the majority of their produce.
The Hammerands are able to maximize their harvest by adding value to the products they grow. They offer over 21 kinds of jams and jellies, 21 varieties of pickles and relishes, and a wide selection of baked goods. Even this late in the season they still have a good selection of potatoes, squash, sweet potatoes and other winter produce. They also offer fully organic eggs produced by their brood of laying hens.
The Hammerands sell at the Madison farmers’ market in the summer and participate in Harvest of Hope, devoting 10% of their profits to help farm families in need. They have seen the market for natural and organic foods grow in the tri-state region, and they believe that Dubuque will soon catch up to bigger markets like Madison. Thank you, Walter and Dorothy, for your long-standing commitment to local foods and farmers’ markets!